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Isabel Jean Russell

February 21, 1948 ~ December 9, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Isabel Russell Obituary


On December 9, 2023, our cherished wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend - Isabel Jean Russell - passed away in the Crowsnest Pass Health Care Centre in Blairmore, at the age of 75 years.  She was vital, energetic, and full of enthusiasm, less than a week before her passing, preparing for her favourite season – Christmas – and looking forward to her annual 3-month vacation in Arizona.

Isabel was born on February 21, 1948, in Grimsby, England, to Dr. Fred Russell and Stella Mastin Russell.  Before her first birthday, the family moved to Alberta, with short stops in Edson and Bellevue before settling in Blairmore.

For at least 70 years, the Russell family has been part of the Crowsnest Pass Golf Club; starting with helping skin the logs for the first clubhouse.  Isabel was a superb golfer and cherished playing several times each week right up to the end of the 2023 season.  Her friends in the Ladies Morning Group were a huge part of her life.

Aside from time away for university, and several months in Australia in the early 1970s, Isabel lived her entire life in the Crowsnest Pass. Here she devoted her career to education and truly enjoyed her time as a high school English teacher until her retirement in 2008.  She was beloved by her students, many of whom later contacted her throughout her retirement years, expressing gratitude for all she had taught them, and most importantly, for believing in them.  She knew before they did that they had strengths and capabilities not yet known to themselves. Her considerable efforts outside of the classroom notably included supervising several student trips to England and Japan and organizing graduation ceremonies.

She served her community in many ways throughout her adult life as part of the executives of the Figure Skating Club, Ladies League Golf, the Crowsnest Pass Rec Board, the Pass Curling Club, and lately the Crowsnest Pass Health Foundation.  She was the English Instructor, Friends of New Canadians Committee, for our Syrian refugee family.  She was committed to the preservation of the history of the community she loved and was actively involved with the Crowsnest Pass Museum and Historical Society for several decades.  She has edited several locally authored books and was near completing two terms as a University of Lethbridge senator. 

Isabel was a truly gifted hostess, decorator, seamstress and gardener. If something could be sewn, grown, or served she made it look elegant and easy. She enjoyed nothing more than sharing her love of living with dear friends, lifelong and new, through countless dinner parties, clubs and Cavorts.

Isabel’s passions were reflected in her dedication to her family with whom she shared her creative and loving spirit. Left to celebrate her life are her husband Peter Dunn; her daughters, Melissa Brown and Micaela Brown (Brad Istace); and Peter’s son, Kevin (Kristjana) Dunn; her precious grandchildren, Xander and Mia Istace, Jack Brown Chambers and Aisling and Lochlan Dunn; her brother, Nigel (Vicki) Russell; and sister, Jill (Emil) Amstutz. She deeply cherished her relationships with her nieces and nephews and their families and always looked forward to the many visits and phone calls.  Isabel was predeceased by her father, Dr. William F. Russell (1967); her mother Stella Russell (2009); and her brother, Dr. Peter Russell (2007).

The family is grateful for the overwhelming love and support of the Crowsnest Pass community as well as countless friends and relatives from out of town and abroad.  Thank you to the Crowsnest Pass Golf Club who reached out to offer assistance in finding ways to honor her memory.  And a very special thank you to Dr. Kristy Penner and the staff of the Crowsnest Pass Health Centre.

Isabel was often distressed by how our society tends to overlook so many people who are in need of reasonable basic assistance.  In her memory, we all can hopefully take a second look at those who might benefit from some extra attention from governments, communities, and individuals. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her name to the Crowsnest Pass Health Foundation.

Her Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, December 28 at 1:00pm at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Blairmore with Reverend Nicky Keyworth officiating.  A reception will follow at the Crowsnest Pass Golf Club. Condolences may be registered at 

Fantin’s Funeral Chapel entrusted with arrangements. (403) 562-8555.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Isabel Jean Russell, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Service
December 28, 2023

1:00 PM
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church
13126 – 21 Avenue
Blairmore, Alberta T0K 0E0

Video is available for this event


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